John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
I can remember going to school on cold winter mornings. We had to walk to school. Our faces, hands and feet got very cold. When we arrived at school, we at least had a chance to warm up. Due to the cold weather, recess was held in the school gym. Instead of playing games as we would do outside, we had to do physical excercises. I did not consider this a decent recess. There was little relaxation at this time. We brought a bag lunch to school, instead of walking home for lunch. On certain raining days, my dad, if he worked night shift, would pick us at lunch and take us back to school. I can remember our class singing at funerals, across the street at the church. One day a boy from a younger class, had drowned down by the South Shore Yacht Club. His dad, a professional wrestler, came to our school and volunteered as leader of our Boys Club. I think the loss of his son hurt him deeply. Another time, we sang at a funeral of the father of one of our teachers, who was a retired pastor. There were many times when we sang at funerals in church.
One of my friends used to manually ring the church bells for church services. Now the bells are automated. It was amazing to watch the church building change over the years. One year, they installed the church basement. (I think in 1948). Another year, they repainted the entire inside of the church. I can remember the old church parsonage, the new church office, the new church garage, the new church parsonage. The installation of rugs in the church. The installation of a clock on the balcony wall to remind the pastor if he was giving too long of a serman. Over the years, many pastors and teachers served this congregation of St. Lucas Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Wisconsin Synod. As far as I know, my great grandparents, grandparents, parents, various aunts and uncles and cousins all belonged to this church. I was baptized at North Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Town of Granville, North Milwaukee, because I was the only son that my dad had. I had five sisters. I have a lot of memories of my time in this school and church.